Written By: Hailey Nelson
During midterms we can’t help but feel pressured and stressed out with all the tests and lists of things we have to do. Developing the habit of doing certain relaxation poses before bed can help with better sleep and establish a clear mindset. Yoga allows us to bring our attention to our bodies and come into a meditative state of relaxation. Remember you don’t have to be good at yoga or be super flexible to do these poses. These three yoga poses are perfect to do before going to bed or after a long study session. They will help to quiet the mind and ease stress.
- Knees to Chest: First start from a laying down position either on the floor, bed or mat. Begin by drawing the knees into the chest, holding the legs behind your thighs. If you would like a little back massage, try rocking gently from side to side. Be careful not to lift your hips off the ground—allow your shoulders to remain on the floor or mat.
- Laying down Supine Spinal Twist: From knees to chest let your left leg extend long on the floor. Bend the right knee to allow the right foot to rest on the floor. Then using the left hand guide your right knee across your body over to the left side. As you hold this pose, try to continue to guide your right knee deeper and deeper into the stretch. A tip for this pose is to try and shift your hips so you are slightly resting on the side of your pelvis also keeping your body in a straight line from the crown of your head to your extended heel.
- Child’s Pose: Starting on all fours, sink the hips back toward the heels and lower your body on top of your thighs. By reaching your arms out in front of you, it will allow you to relax and sink your chest into the floor. If this pose is uncomfortable on your knees try grabbing a blanket to place behind the knees to reduce knee flexion.
Remember yoga is a time to focus on yourself. Try turning off all electronics when practicing these poses. Nothing is more frustrating when you are trying to relax than being bombarded with incoming texts and e-mails. Don’t forget, it’s okay if your mind starts to wander off into different thoughts about what you have to do the next day or the homework you have this week. It’s completely natural; but let those thoughts pass through your mind and try to bring your attention back to your breath. This will allow you to submerge yourself into these poses with complete concentration on your body and breath.